NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro Opens Her Reporter's Notebook06:48
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NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, during a 2011 visit to WBUR studios in Boston. (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, during a 2011 visit to WBUR studios in Boston. (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

The voice of NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is familiar to public radio listeners.

She has reported from Gaza, she was NPR's Baghdad bureau chief during part of the Iraq War, and earlier she was the network's Mexico City correspondent.

She also was one of the first reporters in Libya after the uprising there and she won the 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for her coverage of the Arab Spring.

 The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Now she's NPR's correspondent in Jerusalem, and she told Here & Now's Robin Young about the status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"Right now there really isn't one," Garcia-Navarro said. "Because of everything that's been happening all around the Middle East-- Egypt, Syria, Libya-- what's happening in Israel and the Palestinian territories frankly hasn't been the focus."

'Hamas Is Now Changing'

But Garcia-Navarro says there have been significant developments in the area because of the Arab Spring, for example with Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip and is considered a terrorist organization by the West and Israel.

"Hamas is now changing, many analysts believe," she said. "It has distanced itself from its former mentor Syria, and it's getting much closer to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It is no longer, it is believed, accepting such large quantities of money from Iran."

She added that, "One of the senior leaders of Hamas said that if Israel and Iran went to war, Hamas would not use its rockets against Israel-- which is a fairly significant statement."

Garcia-Navarro said it remains to be seen whether the changes will hold, but that the developments will have ramifications for the security of Israel and the rest of the Middle East.

Garcia-Navarro also addressed the debate over the prospect of an Israeli strike on Iran.

Saber-Rattling Over A Possible Israel-Iran War

"There's a great deal of robust debate about this," she said. "There are people who believe it would be a disaster for Israel to strike Iran. There are other people who believe it has to be done."

Guest:

This segment aired on March 28, 2012.

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